VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees dropped their third straight game and their sixth defeat in the last seven games as they suffered their worst home loss since the home opener back on April 5, in a 10-3 defeat at the hands of the Fort Myers Miracle on Monday night at Space Coast Stadium.
Brevard County (14-14 second half, 51-44 overall) was held to three runs on five hits, including a solo home run from Mitch Haniger in the sixth inning. At the time, that shot brought the Manatees back within 3-2, but it was downhill from there.
Miracle (15-14, first baseman D.J. Hicks went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a career high four runs scored as Fort Myers put up its highest offensive output since they scored 11 runs on July 3 at Bradenton.
Seven of the Fort Myers' ten runs came in the final three frames, as the Miracle took advantage of six walks and seven hits given up by the trio of Stephen Peterson, Dan Meadows and Alex Moore out of the Brevard County bullpen.
Peterson had come on and retired each of the two men he faced in relief of Manatees starting pitcher Jacob Barnes (6-4, 3.44 ERA) in the sixth inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Barnes was lifted after 5.1 innings of work, as he allowed three runs on eight hits and a pair of walks, while taking the loss. He did set a new season-high with seven strikeouts.
Of the 15 hits on the night for the Miracle, 14 were singles. Hicks' home run in the second inning was the team's only extra-base hit. Fort Myers also left 14 men on base.
Fort Myers starting pitcher Tyler Duffey (3-3, 3.88) earned the win after starting the game with four perfect innings before giving up a leadoff walk to Nick Ramirez and then back-to-back one out singles to Cody Hawn and Greg Hopkins, that allowed Ramirez to score the first run for the 'Tees in the fifth inning.
Duffey still finished with a quality start as he held Brevard to three runs on five hits and one walk in seven innings. The right-hander posted a career-high ten strikeouts.
Other than Hopkins driving in Ramirez and Haniger's homer, Cameron Garfield added a third run for the 'Tees in the seventh inning after a leadoff double. T.J. Mittelstaedt came up with the RBI as he knocked a two-out single to right to plate Mittelstaedt.
Brevard County will try and keep their hopes of a series split alive in game three of their four-game set with Fort Myers on Tuesday night. Cody Scarpetta (0-4, 6.00) will throw the first pitch, set for 6:35 p.m., while his counterpart from Fort Myers is scheduled to be reigning Florida State League Pitcher of the Week Taylor Rogers (8-3, 2.61).